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nearly_all_goneSILVER Member
Pooh-Bah
1,626 posts
Location: Southampton, United Kingdom


Posted:
I was wondering something... is it automatically bad karma to choose not to do something that is good karma?



For instance, if I see someone doing something that is good karma, which I could go and help them do, but I choose not to, is that automatically bad karma?



This one's open whether you believe in karma or not... theoretically, in a karmic system, is it bad to ignore an opportunity to do good?

What a wonderful miracle if only we could look through each other's eyes for an instant.
Thoreau


jo_rhymesSILVER Member
Momma Bear
4,525 posts
Location: Telford, Shrops, United Kingdom


Posted:
Well, there is no "bad" karma or "good" karma. It's all relative and subjective.
There is no such thing as karmic debt, there's nothing left for you to pay off.
my philosophy which i try to stick to is "who do i want to be?" and is this action i'm taking right now saying what i want it to say about me.
If it is, then do it. Be mindful of your actions.

Hoppers are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.


Rouge DragonBRONZE Member
Insert Champagne Here
13,215 posts
Location: without class distinction, Australia


Posted:
I believe in Karma. And I believe it is relative and subjective. I suppose it's because I believe in a balance in the world.

As for ignoring an opportinuty to do good, I think that depends on your own conscious. However I think that if you do something purely to "clock up good Karma", so to speak, it isn't really good karma at all. To go searching for good karma isn't doing good things for the right reasons and therefore doesnt do anything for your karma.

i would have changed ***** to phallus, and claire to petey Petey

Rougie: but that's what I'm doing here
Arnwyn: what letting me adjust myself in your room?..don't you dare quote that on HoP...


Mr MajestikSILVER Member
coming to a country near you
4,693 posts
Location: home of the tiney toothy bear, Australia


Posted:
i've never understood why people talk about good karma and bad karma, as far as i know karma is what propells you into re-birth in the Buddhist faith. it is accumulated over a lifetime and as rouge said you shouldn't have to think about it, its subliminal and if you think 'i'll do this for some good karma' then you are totally missing what karma is about in the first place.

not that i believe in it anyway.........

"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley


nearly_all_goneSILVER Member
Pooh-Bah
1,626 posts
Location: Southampton, United Kingdom


Posted:
Written by:

In Buddhist teaching, the law of karma, says only this: `for every event that occurs, there will follow another event whose existence was caused by the first, and this second event will be pleasant or unpleasant according as its cause was skillful or unskillful.' A skillful event is one that is not accompanied by craving, resistance or delusions; an unskillful event is one that is accompanied by any one of those things. (Events are not skillful in themselves, but are so called only in virtue of the mental events that occur with them.)

Therefore, the law of Karma teaches that responsibility for unskillful actions is born by the person who commits them.

https://www.ncf.carleton.ca/freenet/rootd...ths/karma2.html








Maybe I hold a skewed notion of karma then, but when I say "karma" I mean "if you do good things, good things will come to you. If you do bad things, bad things will come to you". I believe in reincarnation but I'm not convinced my notion of "karma" (as I call it) really enters into it...



In Wicca it's called the threefold law, I believe. Whatever you do, you get back three times in return, for good or bad. Again, I might have got that wrong.



I guess my question boils down to is it wrong to ignore the opportunity to do good. Personally I don't think it's necessarily wrong, but I found myself feeling guilty when I was in that situation this afternoon and I was wondering if I was justified to feel guilty.
EDITED_BY: nearly_all_gone (1139187245)

What a wonderful miracle if only we could look through each other's eyes for an instant.
Thoreau


Mr MajestikSILVER Member
coming to a country near you
4,693 posts
Location: home of the tiney toothy bear, Australia


Posted:
as i understand the Buddhist meaning of karma, it only effects how and what you are reborn as, not effecting you in your current life.

as for reincarnation, to my understanding that is not a buddhist belief. reincarnation is a process where a person dies, and then that same person is born again. as i know it, Buddhists believe in RE-BIRTH, where the karma you have accumilated in your past life creates another life after you die, and how you acted in your life dictates what the new life will start off like. reaching nirvana is the stopping of the karmic cycle, so you will no-longer cause re-birth.

"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley


UCOFSILVER Member
Carpal \'Tunnel
15,414 posts
Location: United Kingdom


Posted:
*waits for the OWD*
smile

Rouge DragonBRONZE Member
Insert Champagne Here
13,215 posts
Location: without class distinction, Australia


Posted:
Justified to feel guilty? No.

It's happened now. You can't change it. If you could change it, then that would be a different story. But don't beat yourself up over it. Let it rest and just wait to see what next crosses your path.




Disclaimer: I rarely follow my own advice. So feel free to ignore me.

i would have changed ***** to phallus, and claire to petey Petey

Rougie: but that's what I'm doing here
Arnwyn: what letting me adjust myself in your room?..don't you dare quote that on HoP...


KaelGotRiceGOLD Member
Basu gasu bakuhatsu - because sometimes buses explode
1,584 posts
Location: Angel's Landing, USA


Posted:
Maybe I'm a bad buddhist.



But the way I'e been brought up, I don't care about "karma". I don't care about the rebirth cycle. I don't think constantly, "oh no, if I do something bad I'll be reincarnated as a bug".



Many monks that I've talk to have told me how it's a common misconception that you NEED to die to achieve Nirvana. Total bliss is a state of mind, so naturally one achievable while you are alive. You don't need to accumlate "good karma" to reach nirvana, all one has to do is reach a state of absolute bliss.



Those of the Theravadan faith aren't too concerned about the subjectivity of "good vs evil".



You see, you take steps to move around all the time. Which each step you will kill a few micro-organisms. Is that evil? Is it evil if you choose to walk around because it is a necessity for life even though you will kill things? What about eating? If you've ever eaten anything, you have caused something to suffer. Even vegetarians eat vegtables that have been grown with the help of pesticides, that kill insects by the millions. Even if you eat just vegetables, you are contributing to the suffering of other beings.



When you realize that good or evil are subjective to justifiablitiy, (You can justify ANYTHING and feel okay about it) karma is not the all important buddhist concept that a lot of people make it out to be.



I'd say the four noble truths, the eightfold path, and the law of dependant origination are much more important than the concept of "karma".



The main Buddha, Gotama, realized that happiness is subjective. He laid down guidelines for lay-people to follow, ones that any person could understand. "Karma" is one of these concepts - if you do good, you will have good things come to you.



HOWEVER, you must not fall into the trap of doing good things and expecting good in return. That is just as bad as doing things that will cause you "bad karma". Expecting happiness in return for good deeds will never bring you happiness or nirvana.



Nirvana in sanskrit, or Nibbana in the Theravadan Pali, roughly translates to "the dying of the flame". It is the extinguishing of our desires and our egos, as well as our concept of "self".



If one realizes there is no self to get angry or sad, happy or glad, or expect good deeds in return for karma, one will achieve Nibbana/Nirvana.



So to sum it up, don't give too much of a damn about karma, it's not really "essential buddhism". wink



EDIT- I hope this is not confusing and answers your question. I've spent a lot of time with various Theravadan institutions across the world, so if you have any other questions, feel free to hit me up smile

To do: More Firedrums 08 video?
Wildfire/US East coast fire footage
LA/EDC glow/fire footage
Fresno fire

<img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/ubbrollsmile.gif" alt="" />


JayKittyGOLD Member
Mission: Ignition
534 posts
Location: Central New Jersey, USA


Posted:
I think karma depends all on your intent. If you're volunteering for something just to make someone jealous, you're intentions aren't so good. I think the movie "John Q" was a great example of the other side. He held people hostage to save his son.

There's this saying that goes something like "Good intentions pave the road to hell" but I still think it's where your heart is that mattered. If you really didn't want to do the good thing you were talking about, your heart wasn't in it, so I don't think it's bad karma not to do it.

I'm also a firm believer in the Wiccan threefold law, it's always been true for me.

Don't mind me, just passing through.


Mr MajestikSILVER Member
coming to a country near you
4,693 posts
Location: home of the tiney toothy bear, Australia


Posted:
KaelGotRice explained karma pretty well me thinks, it doesnt really have to be thought about. in your quest for nirvana you should cease to have karma anyway.

"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley


Sporkyaddict
663 posts
Location: Glasgow


Posted:
So basically 'karma' is another way of saying 'do something good for the sake of doing something good but don't expect anything back from it'. Or am I getting the wrong end of the stick.

Personally I believe that if I do somethig nice then something nice will happen to me. Not because of karma but because thats the way the world works. For instance, if I help an old lady across the street then I'll be known as a nice and helpful guy and therefore people will treat me better because of it and the inverse is also true. Its my own bastardisation of the Wiccan 'Threefold Rule'

Have faith in what you can do and respect for what you can't


FireTomStargazer
6,650 posts

Posted:
Yah, OWD will have to give more insight... but as far as I can tell, Karma is not a Buddhist conception, but taken from Hinduism along with reincarnation.



"Karma" happens from action/ acting and non-action/ acting. If you refuse to help someone this will certainly create "bad karma". If you hurt someone this will certainly also create "bad karma".



Hence if you look to India and how society is dealing with the concept of karma, it also strongly depends on what you accept into your life as being part of it.



Karma can only be the intentional action, to be more specific: an action can only mean "bad karma" to YOU, if you did something without better knowledge. If you do something purely from your best intentions and it turns out later to have been "bad" - how can this mean bad karma to you?



Now a number of "may-bees" arise to get the honeypot:



Maybe it's the bad karma of the one suffering that he has to solve. If you step over and help him out of his misery, you may think you did good, whereas you prevent this person from solving his own karma. Maybe if you cease to help him, it's exactly that what is needed in the moment. Maybe your desire to help grows and next time you help someone even further and this is exactly the desired effect. Maybe your appreciation of someone else helping YOU grows and when it happens you really take the chance to thank that person for their help...



Even though we enjoy the idea of someone paying for their sins, or rotting away in hell, or having to serve as a cockroach for having done something "really bad" in this life - I do not think that it is a valid concept.



And remember: in order to reach the Nirvana (according to buddhist philosophy) you have to free your "self" from all desire - therefore also from the desire to ever reach nirvana...



And aside: free will? (right) action? good/ bad karma?



Written by:

A skillful event is one that is not accompanied by craving, resistance or delusions; an unskillful event is one that is accompanied by any one of those things.






@OFS: exactly this is the prob.. if you expect some return, you are not helping someone else but are caught up in the gratification-loop... that's not helping others, but just serving your ego.. shrug or how the stones put it: you won't always get what you want.(...). but you will always get what you deserve...



wink
EDITED_BY: FireTom (1139223127)

the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink


jo_rhymesSILVER Member
Momma Bear
4,525 posts
Location: Telford, Shrops, United Kingdom


Posted:
N_A_G, if you're feeling guilty when missing an opportunity to do good, then my advise is do good. Feelings are your soul's way of communicating with you, always listen to them smile

Hoppers are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.


jeff(fake)Scientist of Fortune
1,189 posts
Location: Edinburgh


Posted:
Isn't doing something good in the expectation of getting something back from it inherintly bad karma?

According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...


SkulduggeryGOLD Member
Pirate Pixie Crew Captain
8,428 posts
Location: Wales


Posted:
Try to live by the adage, treat people/things as you would wish to be treated.

The reasoning is that if you aren't prepared to treat people/things in a manner you would like to be treated then how can you expect anyone else to behave that way towards you. Lead by example.

This doesn't mean that anyone else is going to treat you in the same way, but that's not the point. The goal isn't to get people to be nice to you or treat you well. The goal is to know you have not intentionally caused another harm. Once you walk that path it makes choices easier and you stop thinking so much about "what is doing this going to get me" and makes you think more "How will this effect others".

I'm not very good at following this advice but I do try to.

Feed me Chocolate!!! Feed me NOW!


Sporkyaddict
663 posts
Location: Glasgow


Posted:
Written by: FireTom



@OFS: exactly this is the prob.. if you expect some return, you are not helping someone else but are caught up in the gratification-loop... that's not helping others, but just serving your ego.. shrug or how the stones put it: you won't always get what you want.(...). but you will always get what you deserve...

wink




I understand what you're saying but personally I believe that its not so much serving my ego but showing there are concequences to my actions. I never really expect anything to happen as no-one can tell what will happen tomorrow. I could be hit by a bus on my way to the union tonight so anything 'good' that I've done will have been (by the ego argument) in vain. Its not a case of expecting things to be done in return but knowing that as a concequence of whatever course of action I take there will be a reaction of some sort. In my view every decision that I make in my life directly influences the next decision and so on.

Take the example that I used earlier. The chain of decisions behind it would be; Do I or don't I help her to cross the street? If I help her and she starts talking to me do I leave or do I stay and talk to her? If I stay and talk and she says that she needs someone to, say, tidy her garden for her do I offer to help or don't I? If I offer to help and she offers me money once I've done it do I or don't I accept it? If I don't accept the money then the only reward will be an ego boost (and a good workout wink ) which surely isn't a bad thing? In my view its perfectly natural to feel better about yourself after doing something 'good' for someone else but I don't deliberately go out looking for an ego boost it just happens whether I want it to or not.

Have faith in what you can do and respect for what you can't


NYCNYC
9,232 posts
Location: NYC, NY, USA


Posted:
I've been actually coming to my own realization that karma is never as instant or direct or effective as I want it to be.

It seems like often times when people do something horrible they get away with it and profit off the experience. When people do something nice, they tend to get screwed.

I used to think that bad things would catch up with bad people... but that line of thinking only made me more sad when it didn't happen.

When someone does something to take advantage of someone else, they will probably benifit from it.

I'm not going to become evil as a result of my realization. But now at least I chose to do the right thing knowing I'll probably get screwed. This way it's not a disappointing surprise.

"No good deed goes unpunished."

It sounds pessimistic but actually it makes me feel better. Doing something good despite the fact that you'll get screwed for it is sometimes more satisfying than doing something good with the intent of getting rewarded.

Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]


Sporkyaddict
663 posts
Location: Glasgow


Posted:
Americans always try to do the right thing -- after they've tried everything else.
- - - Winston Churchill

I don't believe thats just true for the Americans. I think humanity in general takes advantage of people who do good things but then surely its better to be taken advantage of for doing good things than to take advantage. I always hold out some hope that a 'bad' person will realize he/she has done something wrong and attempt to rectify it. But then again life is one gigantic learning curve so you never know...

Have faith in what you can do and respect for what you can't


nearly_all_goneSILVER Member
Pooh-Bah
1,626 posts
Location: Southampton, United Kingdom


Posted:
Written by: Rouge Dragon

Disclaimer: I rarely follow my own advice. So feel free to ignore me.




Don't say that, you'd just made me feel better wink

Written by: KaelGotRice



HOWEVER, you must not fall into the trap of doing good things and expecting good in return. That is just as bad as doing things that will cause you "bad karma". Expecting happiness in return for good deeds will never bring you happiness or nirvana.

[...]

So to sum it up, don't give too much of a damn about karma, it's not really "essential buddhism". wink



EDIT- I hope this is not confusing and answers your question. I've spent a lot of time with various Theravadan institutions across the world, so if you have any other questions, feel free to hit me up smile




No, it wasn't confusing, it was a great answer, thank you smile

Written by: FireTom



And aside: free will? (right) action? good/ bad karma?






Just singling this one out of many good points... I think in a determinst system, we act purely based on our beliefs, desires etc... I'm just a little unclear consciously of my beliefs, although it didn't stop me from (not) acting yesterday... I'm just trying to figure out why.



The notion of right and wrong action is subjective, I guess, but looking for a concensus opinion is a nice way of working out your feelings on how to act without upsetting/harming others in a given society. I think we are prime motivators in monitoring and adjusting our opinions and behave in a way we are more comfortable with. Hard to put simply, but something like we are the ones who must grow from what we learn, and even if it is predetermined for us to do so, it may well be predetermined that we must put in a lot of effort before we get to the place we want to be wink

Written by: NYC



"No good deed goes unpunished."



It sounds pessimistic but actually it makes me feel better. Doing something good despite the fact that you'll get screwed for it is sometimes more satisfying than doing something good with the intent of getting rewarded.




I think that sums up a lot of what has been said... altruism is better than an expectation of "payment" in some sense.. the idea that you did waht you thought was right, regardless of consequences... a noble attitude to take. It reminds me of Thoreau - "the right place for the just man in an unjust society is in prison".



Thanks everyone else for your opinions, I don't want to reply to everyone in one massive post but the notions of doing what feels right, and doing what you would wish others to do for you makes a lot of sense. It's difficult to know if you're acting right if others often percieve your actions as wrong... I think you can be a bad judge of your own actions. My beliefs and needs seem to differ quite often from the majority of people I meet (in problematic ways, I mean). It's interesting to me to get other peoples opinions on board in forming my own smile

What a wonderful miracle if only we could look through each other's eyes for an instant.
Thoreau


DuncGOLD Member
playing the days away
7,263 posts
Location: The Middle lands, United Kingdom


Posted:
Written by: Skulduggery


treat people/things as you would wish to be treated.




If the world followed this advise on a truly personal basis we'd have no need for religion, money or government ubblove Maybe in a trillion years eh......

Let's relight this forum ubblove


i8beefy2GOLD Member
addict
674 posts
Location: Ohio, USA


Posted:
Karma: reap what you sow.

Subjective, relative, whatever. Do unto others and it will be returned unto you. Be a prick, people treat you like one. Be nice, people treat you the same. Except for children. Children are just evil until they get old enough that we stop coddling them and they have to realize this for themselves... smile

SocksBRONZE Member
Arf! Can I have a biscut?
288 posts
Location: North America, Mid West, USA


Posted:
Written by: nearly_all_gone


For instance, if I see someone doing something that is good karma, which I could go and help them do, but I choose not to, is that automatically bad karma?




Well, sometimes if you go to help someone, you're kinda meddling in their affairs and that's not always good. If they ask you for help, it's good to help them if you are able.

Karma is just a way to say "do good things for others". And it does work.

but then again, I just like to help people out. It's a good thing.

I'm weird. Just work through that and we'll all be fine.

"If you are a dog and your owner suggests that you wear a sweater suggest that he wear a tail." - Fran Lebowitz


FireTomStargazer
6,650 posts

Posted:
I'm kindof appealed what NYC said earlier... just do it because you feel it's right to do it... don't care for what is or what is not coming back...

Many bad deeds have been fulfilled in best faith - and vice versa...

Is bad karma generated when one is acting against ones own truth... ?

the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink


jo_rhymesSILVER Member
Momma Bear
4,525 posts
Location: Telford, Shrops, United Kingdom


Posted:
Written by: FireTom



Is bad karma generated when one is acting against ones own truth... ?



Totally agree, Tom. Feelings are our soul's way of communicating. We should always honour our feelings.

Hoppers are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.


jeff(fake)Scientist of Fortune
1,189 posts
Location: Edinburgh


Posted:
Written by: jo_rhymes


Written by: FireTom


Is bad karma generated when one is acting against ones own truth... ?



Totally agree, Tom. Feelings are our soul's way of communicating. We should always honour our feelings.



Even if those feeling lead to great harm? Isn't this the definition of a 'crime of passion'?

According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...


jo_rhymesSILVER Member
Momma Bear
4,525 posts
Location: Telford, Shrops, United Kingdom


Posted:
there are feelings, and there are thoughts.
We need to be able to discriminate between the two. And no, the soul will only communicate feelings of the highest truth, love and light. Anything other than this is negativity, and not your true feeling. Which is why it's so hard to know what to do!!!

Hoppers are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.


jeff(fake)Scientist of Fortune
1,189 posts
Location: Edinburgh


Posted:
Written by: jo_rhymes


there are feelings, and there are thoughts.
We need to be able to discriminate between the two. And no, the soul will only communicate feelings of the highest truth, love and light. Anything other than this is negativity, and not your true feeling. Which is why it's so hard to know what to do!!!



Who says only the positive feelings come from the soul?

According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...


jo_rhymesSILVER Member
Momma Bear
4,525 posts
Location: Telford, Shrops, United Kingdom


Posted:
Well, this is totally my opinion. Take it or leave it smile My theory is that God is pure love and light. My view is that our souls are like flames that make up the Sun (God). Therefore, our souls are God, so can only be positive smile

Hoppers are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.


NYCNYC
9,232 posts
Location: NYC, NY, USA


Posted:
In related news.... I kinda like "My Name Is Earl" the NBC sitcom.

It's light and it's cute and it's stupid in a typical sitcom way but "Karma" is the central premise.

Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]


FireTomStargazer
6,650 posts

Posted:
In this way: what if you help the old lady across the street and go 5 metres further only to find the next old lady and in this way it continues until three days later...

Right now I am in the middle of Karma-country on a big scale India... there's a Baba (old man or child) asking for money on every corner, there's a little girl asking for donation way around every corner, not to speak of all the disabled that are sitting behind every bush... really I'd love to help each and every one and do believe to live life altruistic, but at the end of the day I foresee myself sitting next to them if I a) distribute my entire budget and b) spend all my time helping someone else out...

Is it necessary to let people help themselves as much as possible, so they learn to depend on themselves rather than others? Is it necessary to pursue ones own affairs in order to have it sorted before helping everyone else in the boat? Or is it selfish?

the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink


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